The City of Leesburg will host a ribbon cutting on Thursday, May 16, to celebrate nearly 3.5 miles of new recreational trails.
The event will begin at 5 p.m. at the northern entrance of the Gardenia Trail next to the Leesburg Recreational Complex, 1851 Griffin Road. City staff and commissioners as well as construction contractors and representatives from county and state agencies have been invited.
The Leesburg-Wildwood Trail runs a total of 2.7 miles from just south of the Palm Plaza Shopping Center on U.S. 27 west to Jones and Veech roads near County Road 44. More than half a mile of the Gardenia Trail branches off north to the Griffin Road.
All of the $1.06 million project funding was provided by Federal Surface Transportation Program money directed through the State of Florida.
The scenic, tree-lined trails are 15-feet-wide with paved asphalt and include pedestrian benches and one large shade structure. They are the latest addition to the Leesburg Trails Master Plan, which eventually will encompass 553 acres and will include – among other things - several trail segments spanning 24 miles, connecting neighborhoods throughout much of Leesburg.
“The trails connect the communities in Leesburg and provide a very nice recreational amenity for families and residents,” said City Commissioner John Christian.
The eastern end of the Leesburg-Wildwood Trail connects with U.S. 27, where the existing Fountain Lake Trail runs east to Canal Street in downtown Leesburg. That connects to the existing Venetian Trail, which runs a half mile along Canal Street from Dixie Avenue to U.S. Highway 441. The existing Magnolia Trail runs just south of Magnolia Street in downtown Leesburg between South 12th Street and Canal Street connecting to the Venetian Trail.
Leesburg is a progressive city of more than 20,000 residents in northwest Lake County. The city government serves twice as many people with its electric, gas, water, wastewater and fiber-optic public utilities. Leesburg also is a central hub for commerce, attracting 50,000 people to work each weekday.